Who Do You Want to See in Your Mirror?


SnowWhite-mirrorRemember in Snow White, when the evil Queen insists that her Magic Mirror lie to her:

“Mirror, mirror on the wall
Who’s the fairest one of all?”

The day her mirror told her the truth — that Snow White was more beautiful — she began to disintegrate, even as she became in the short-term, more hard and dangerous than ever.

What’s does the Magic Mirror say about me? About you?

One of my co-workers says, “Everyone trusts you. You’re like everyone’s mom.”

That’s a lovely reflection … at least when it comes to how customers at our natural foods store perceive me. Some colleagues, of course, are still trying to leave home and aren’t thrilled to have another Mom at work. Others, a bit older, take care of me as they might their own mothers. That’s a different kind of lovely reflection, mostly on them.

But living in mirror view can be very confusing. For starters, the view I see of myself in any mirror is backwards. It doesn’t look the way other people see me. Then, if there are too many mirrors around, I start to see reflections of reflections. It’s like when I’m sitting in a salon chair and see visions of myself receding endlessly into the wall as the mirror in front of me reflects the mirror facing the chair behind me. Worst of all are the funhouse mirror reflections that are designed to distort and deceive. They send me crashing into sharp shards of shattering glass as I stagger along, unable to distinguish the real exit from the angled reflection of an angled reflection of an angled reflection.

Charlie Chaplin needs an escape but which way to go in this hall of mirrors?

Charlie Chaplin needs an escape but which way to go in this hall of mirrors?

Learning about myself from how others see me has some value. But we see in mirrors and through lenses distorted by our experiences, our cultures, our communities, and more. Still, using several lenses together can be like when the optometrist flips yet another magnification into place: Eventually, the image clears enough to see what is really before me.

When my optometrist flips the right lenses into place, I can see better.

When my optometrist flips the right lenses into place, I can see better.

When you look at yourself, who do you see? More important, who do you want to see? Who are you working to become? Here are some words: pick some you like or add some others. 

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About Carlene Hill Byron

The former editor of New England Church Life and The New England Christian, Carlene Hill Byron is enjoying being home in Maine after 20 years in North Carolina. She is a member of the Redbud Writers Guild. Find her at christianpurposeblog.wordpress.com, churchandmentalillness.wordpress.com and on Facebook at MyHouseHasHistory.
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